The David Crowder Band's bio is about as un-rock 'n' roll as you can get. The group was formed to provide music for the church that Crowder himself started while still a student at Baylor University: the University Baptist Church, founded with Chris Seay in Waco, Tex., in 1995. Crowder initially picked up his guitar in an attempt to pen songs for the worship portion of the service, making music that was released on two indie discs.
It was only a natural progression, then, that D.C.B. started touring, becoming known for their innovative worship tracks and Crowder's unique appearance (think a kinder, gentler Unabomber). Despite their growing popularity, they made it a point to be home at least half the year to minister at the church where it all started. But Louie Giglio, the founder of the Passion conferences and sixstepsrecords, eventually convinced Crowder of the influence the band's music could have worldwide, and they signed a deal and found a larger platform.
At the time of sixsteps' initial launch, Crowder could have easily become lost among worship contemporaries like Chris Tomlin and Charlie Hall. D.C.B.'s 2002 label debut, Can You Hear Us?, was solid but understated, with Illuminate expanding on that firm foundation in 2003. It wasn't until 2005, though, that the band's sound began to explode. A Collision melded bluegrass, folk, electronics and more, with the band running the gamut, leaving very few musical stones unturned. EPs, remixes and other rarities helped build fan loyalty between studio projects and gave band members the opportunity for greater experimentation.
Now, as they celebrate the release of their latest studio disc, Give Us Rest, the David Crowder Band have announced they're calling it quits. The band that challenged the definition of "worship," infusing their music with random references and sound effects (Turkish delight, typing sounds, EKG machines) -- not to mention guest artists (Ted Nugent) and odd tech tools (from Lite Brites and Speak & Spells to a drumming robot named Steve 3P0) -- will be no more after 2012.
Rather than mourning that loss, though, we are choosing to celebrate all the amazing music they gave us over the years. If you haven't experienced the phenomenon known as the David Crowder Band, it's not too late. For longtime fans, this will serve as a trip down memory lane.